UK Renewable Energy Leaders releases a new Commercial Rooftop Solar PV Guide

Two renewable energy leaders in the United Kingdom, Renewable Energy Association and BRE National Solar Centre have released a new Rooftop Solar PV Guide for installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on commercial rooftops, which will be of great help to both tenants and landlords of commercial buildings in their bids to decrease energy costs and reduce the carbon footprints.

The new solar guide, titled “Solar PV on commercial buildings: A guide for owners and developers,” was put compiled with the help of REA members that hold commercial rooftop solar experience in technical, legal, financial issues, and was edited by Gaynor Hartnell, who is a Community Engagement Advisor for the REA.

Commercial Rooftop Solar PV Guide

Most of the rooftop solar market tends to be focused on the residential sector in the UK, the commercial buildings (defined as “all non-domestic premises”) also offer a great opportunity for renewable energy generation.

The introduction to the solar PV new guide mentions that there is “an estimated 250,000 hectares of south facing commercial roof space in the country” which could be used to meet about 50 percent of the UK’s electricity demand if properly covered with rooftop solar arrays.

Gaynor Hartnell said, “This guide tells landlords and tenants all they need to know about having solar PV installed. It comes with a downloadable financial model to help develop the business case. The guide details two routes building owners and occupiers can go down – investing in the solar panels themselves, or having a third party finance the panels and entering into an agreement to buy the electricity generated. With solar PV, companies can have more control of their energy supplies, manage their costs and cut down on their carbon emissions.”

Solar PV

According to the new guide, rooftop solar arrays used in commercial buildings account for around 50,000 of the nation’s 870,000 solar PV systems, with a capacity of 1.2GW of the 4.1GW of capacity installed under the Feed-In Tariff (FIT), which contrasts with the trend followed in various other countries in Europe.

Germany’s commercial rooftop solar installations account for more than half of the nation’s solar capacity, for example, and increasing the uptake of commercial solar in the UK can be a viable method of increasing the amount of renewables on the grid, reducing peak electricity demands, reducing carbon emissions, and putting the relatively unused space on rooftops to work, while also acting as a hedge against future electricity rate increases.

The 28-page solar guide, which covers different topics relating to commercial rooftop solar, including case studies, financing options, third party ownership/PPA, the business case for owning the system, leasing structures, and more, states that there are “huge opportunities” for commercial solar in the UK, and as the Feed-In Tariff is expected to be reduced, “it will become a much more obvious proposition” for commercial energy consumers.

Source: CleanTechnica

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